ASAP’s Filipino stars enthral in Dubai

The two-hour ASAP Live show dished up an array of production numbers, providing the Filipino audience with the kind of entertainment that they usually only see on television every Sunday evening.
Zsa Zsa Padilla performing at ASAP Live in Dubai on Friday. Charles Crowell for The National
Zsa Zsa Padilla performing at ASAP Live in Dubai on Friday. Charles Crowell for The National

An evening of fun, entertainment and star-power: the words that best describe the Dubai staging of the Philippines’ longest-running musical variety show, ASAP (All-Star Sunday Afternoon Party) yesterday at Dubai Festival City.

The show, which is seen in the Middle East through TFC (The Filipino Channel) and via the cable network OSN every weekend, flew in more than 40 Filipino entertainers much to the delight of the UAE-based Filipino audience.

The show opened with a medley of classic Filipino anthems that promote patriotism, with the pop star Charice and the rocker Bamboo Mañalac leading the charge. The excitement coming from the crowd soared as their favourite stars came out on stage one by one to complement Charice and Bamboo’s rendition.

The two-hour show dished up an array of production numbers, from singing to high-energy dancing to keep the audience thrilled and provide them with the kind of entertainment they usually only see on television every Sunday evening.

The audience was treated throughout with the sight of such TV and movie heartthrobs as Piolo Pascual, John Lloyd Cruz, Jericho Rosales, Sam Milby and Richard Yap, among others. In one number, Yap, Rosales and Pascual took turns in serenading the crowd with familiar romantic tunes – an acknowledgement of the Filipinos’ innate fondness for love songs.

The singers Aiza Seguerra, Princess Velasco, Juris Fernandez, Richard Poon and Sitti – collectively known as the ASAP Sessionistas – performed the kind of songs that ­remind every Filipino overseas of the people and things they miss back home.

One of the highlights of the show involved current popular soap opera love teams sharing one stage, prompting the crowd to explode in a screaming frenzy, while the game show host and actor Luis Manzano’s hilarious Whoops Kiri Whoops dance moves had the crowd in stitches.

Not to be outdone were the ASAP veteran mainstays Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera and Zsa Zsa Padilla, who all thanked the crowd for the warm reception.

“It is great that they brought the show here. I decided to watch at the last minute just to enjoy and have fun,” said Rona Soliven, a Dubai-based nanny.

The 32-year-old assistant supervisor Kris Kristoffer, on the other hand, couldn’t let the opportunity slip past to see his favourite stars up close. “I make it a point to watch the show on TV every Sunday even if I’m tired from work. So I was really excited when I heard that ASAP will be here in Dubai,” he said.

“The show was entertaining, although I wish it was longer than two hours,” commented Jovelyn Junio, a 39-year-old bank cashier.

The anticipation created by the show was evident by the number of fans and viewers who patiently queued at the entrance gate hours before the 4pm show.

“We were here as early as 2pm,” said 22-year-old Charmaine Mae Bombita. “But it was all worth it because we had a lot of fun. I actually got my ticket earlier today as I couldn’t find one for the past few days.”

“The best part of the show for me was seeing Luis dance,” said Frenzy Marie Azcarraga, an assistant accountant working in Dubai. “I enjoyed the show so much, even though I wasn’t able to get near the performers, but that’s fine. Seeing them perform live is more than enough and a great stress reliever after a tiring week.”

Published: January 25, 2014 04:00 AM


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